Mahler: Symphony No. 8
Valery Gergiev & London Symphony Orchestra
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Best modern Mahler 8!
The title states it all - I simply haven't heard a better modern Mahler 8. Gergiev has been long recognized as one of the world's greatest operatic conductors, and this album is no exception. The choruses are better under Gergiev than Shaw, and the orchestra is also better under Gergiev than under Solti. The soloists are among the world's greatest. I have yet to hear a "bad" album from under the LSO live release. Plus the live energy is better than that that any studio can produce. Horenstein's (not on iTunes) has been called the definitive, but this version is much more satisfying to me. (Oh, by the way, before everyone complains - you need to enable the "gapless album" feature - just select all of these tracks, right click and chose "get info", go to the options tab and change the "no" under gapless album to a "yes" and click OK. Then there are no pauses.)
Great recording of a great symphony.
I was knocked over by this recording - great accoustics, sound, interpretation, performance, and energy. The best of the best. The best recording of this symphony I've heard is Antonin Wit with the Warsaw Philharmonic - but Gergiev's is a very close second.
HAVE TO HEAR TO BELIEVE
This is a Mahler Eighth that will blow your socks off. With the ten second sound decay in St Paul's Cathedral, London and a bonus of excellent sound engineering, you will never hear another like it. The Mahler symphony series with Gergiev has been controversial, and this is no exception. This is definitely not your Mahler Eighth for the "best" performance but certainly one that you can enjoy for the thrill of it and just sit back and enjoy the ride. I give it a five star just for this reason but otherwise probably a four star.
Born: May 2, 1953 in Moscow, Russia
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s